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Speaker for the Dead

Critique • Quotes

Speaker for the Dead first editionFirst edition
Publication details ▽ Publication details △

First publication
1986, United States

Literature form

Part of series
Ender's War (including Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead) and the Ender series or Enderverse (1985–present)

Science fiction

Writing language

Author's country
United States

Approx. 128,500 words

Notable lines

In the year 1830, after the foirmation of Starways Congress a robot scout ship sent a message by ansible. The planet it was investigating was well within the parameters for human life.

— First lines, "Prologue"

Since we are not yet fully comfortable with the idea that people from the next village are as human as ourselves, it is presumptuous in the extreme to suppose we could ever look at sociable, tool-making creatures who arose from other evolutionary paths and see not beasts but brothers, not rivals but fellow pilgrims journeying to the shrine of intelligence.

— First lines, "Chapter I: Pipo"

"No human being, when you understand his desires, is worthless. No one's life is nothing. Even the most evil of men and women, if you understand their hearts, had some generous act that redeems them, at least a little, from their sins."


Anthropology is never an exact science; the observer never experiences the same culture as the participant.


"We question all our beliefs, except for the ones we really believe, and those we never think to question."


You killed more people than anybody in history." said Olhado.
"Be the best at whatever you do, that's what my mother always told me," said Ender


The sunlight on her back, the breeze against her wings, the water cool under her feet, her eggs warming and maturing in the flesh of the cabra: Life, so long waited for, and not until today could she be sure that she would be, not the last of her tribe, but the first.

— Last lines


Critique • Quotes